Productivity is producing something worthwhile. Simple, right? Productivity has been shipped and shaped and shamed so much, we barely know what we’re looking at anymore.

Photo via Unsplash by Danielle MacInnes

But it’s true. We get excited by hours and timelines with our freelance clients. We get caught up in the distraction.

Yet our work comes back to what the end product is. Productivity is about producing something worthwhile.

When we get bamboozled by what freelance productivity means, we lower the opportunities to feel connected with our work.

Consuming is not producing

When we consume all the time (playing on social media, reading blogs, reading books, digging up more and more information), we limit our ability to produce.

That’s not to say we shouldn’t learn. But how many times have you hit peak knowledge yet have continued the search on and on as a means to block the fear of creating? Or to justify not starting something? Or to not allow for you to put something of your own out there?

If we favour consumption over creation, we start to get rickety and feel antsy. Why? Because our brain wants to produce something. It knows the way forward is to embrace the power of freelance productivity and create.

Freelance productivity should not (always) be client directed

If we’re only ever producing for clients and not ourselves, it can start to feel like an obligation. As it’s often a thankless job and we can’t sit and reflect too much before the next job, it doesn’t give us the freelance productivity high we crave.

Add in issues with client wrangling, projects we took that didn’t interest us to begin with, micromanagement, unrealised project potential and a continually lowering challenge bar and our productivity soon starts to feel like busy work. Or that it may be meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

If we’re not happy with what we produce over time, it can lose direction in a wider career. It becomes just a job. All those trade-offs and sacrifices we make to freelance are no longer as valuable. Those moments when our butt is in the wind or our clients behave poorly sting that little bit more.

And if we don’t particularly want it to be just a job, this creates all kinds of other issues. Our identity suffers. Self-doubt creeps into our creative process. Our opportunities for release and relief dry up. Our confidence is crushed.

We lose what used to make us feel excited, productive, and proactive about the work. We sacrifice the very freelance productivity we covert because we’re no longer producing something. We’re simply along for the ride.

Stop for a moment. Have a look at your usual weekly or monthly pattern.

Are you:

  • Procrastinating a lot online or leaving work to the last minute?
  • Surrounded by busy work and not feeling like you’re gaining ground?
  • At the mercy of client’s whims and wails?
  • Stepping away from things that used to give you joy, such as blogging, creating your own campaigns and work in spare time, participating in creative challenges etc?
  • Feeling drawn, bored by, and generally fed-up with freelancing and the direction it’s taking?


If so, we need to work together. Sign up for my course “how to keep working when you’re dying on the inside” now. Available to $20 USD Patrons on The Freelance Jungle Patreon now.  

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